02/02/2018 Meg Slindee

Does Hosting a Super Bowl Create More Jobs?

Here at our Minneapolis headquarters, this week has been a long time coming. The Minneapolis-hosted Super Bowl of 2018 is nearly here, and our downtown office and surrounding area are abuzz with excitement. Even for non-NFL fans (the category I fall into), one “can’t stop the feeling” when Justin Timberlake is spotted eating dinner just a few blocks away!

In addition to JT, Idina Menzel, Pink, and a few dozen of the world’s best footballers, the Super Bowl is bringing an estimated 1 million visitors to our city and, hopefully, millions of dollars. In fact, the Super Bowl Host Committee has estimated that the event will contribute $29 million in tax revenue and $343 million in total revenue to the area, though some economists estimate a more conservative total of  $130 million.

Minneapolis learned it won the 2018 Super Bowl way back in 2014, after having to prove itself as a place worth visiting for brave winter tourists and the finnicky NFL. Is there more to hosting the Super Bowl than the tourism publicity and super-sized weekend revenue?

We wanted to know whether hosting America’s biggest TV event has a lasting impact on host cities. A look at the jobs numbers shows that while plenty of people with time to spare were able to pick up temporary jobs this month, host cities of the past have not seen a lasting employment change.

Take a look at the last four cities to host the Super Bowl: Santa Clara, California, East Rutherford, New Jersey, Houston, and Phoenix. While most of these show a small bump in job openings several months before game day, we did not see a steady rise with a peak in February in any location.

Not entirely surprisingly, the Super Bowl does not result in a large influx of permanent jobs, but plenty of opportunities exist for temporary workers. Our database currently contains job openings for temporary food runners, cooks, security officers, bartenders and cashiers surrounding the Super Bowl. Because many jobs are fill-in or temporary, however many small employers turn to less formal methods to find their help. Currently, we see openings for snow removal, concessions, dishwashing, and other restaurant-related positions on Craigslist.

Let’s also not forget the “Crew 52,” the 10,000 volunteers that make this event possible. While their service has no immediate impact on the job market, we are certain that helping our city make money is good for the businesses here, which is ultimately good for Minneapolis workers.

Vikings fans whose hearts froze over in the devastating loss to the Eagles two weeks ago are starting to thaw this week in anticipation of hosting the Super Bowl. If there’s anything Minnesotans love more than our sports teams, its welcoming visitors to our fine, frigid, and nearly fully employed state.

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